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St Cuthbert 687
BORN about 634. Cuthbert became a monk, first at Melrose, then Ripon, then as prior
of Lindisfarne. He grew up in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria which then stretched
north to the Forth and west into Cumbria and south-west Scotland. The church he knew,
was a meeting-place of influences; on the one hand, from Celtic missionaries from
lona and ultimately from Ireland, and on the other, from the church founded at Canterbury
from Rome in 597.
One. of Cuthbert's first tasks as prior of Lindisfarne was to persuade his fellow
monks to conform to the Roman practices adopted in Northumbria at the Synod of Whitby
in 631. As prior he also undertook great preaching tours, winning many vvrrth his
gentle, loving manner and personal austerity. In 676 Cuthbert became a hermit on
the island of Inner Fame, but in 685 this interlude of solitary refreshment of the
soul ended. He was called to be bishop of Lindisfarne and again travelled across the
north of England, preaching and ministering to the people. At the very end of his
life he returned to his hermitage, where he died on 20th March 687.
with the area which is now the Diocese of Carlisle began in life and continued after
death. Much of the area probably came Nithin the Diocese of Lindisfarne. Cuthbert
visited Carlisle on several occasions, and is known to have ordained priests there.
The former parish of St Cuthbert Without may represent some of the land given by Ecgfrith,
king of Northumbria, when Cuthbert became bishop. The land of Cartmel was also made
over to him.